Saturday, 4 May 2013

French Seams - the unpicking.

Do you know how difficult it is to unpick a very narrow french seam on chantilly lace?  I do and let me tell you its not a nice job.............

Yesterday I stitched all the panels together for my overdress, and today I wanted to stitch the shoulder seams and insert the sleeves.  I decided that I would take extra care with the sleeves because they can't have any tucks in them.  I pinned the shoulder seams sat the dress on my mannequin and then started work on my sleeves.  My lace has two borders and I wanted to add the deeper border on to the bottom of the sleeve.  Sadly I didn't have enough fabric to cut the sleeves with the deep border directly, so my only option was to attach the border separately and applique it to the end of the sleeve.

This worked fine, and looked lovely, so the next stage was to check that the sleeves fitted into the armscye ok.  It was at this point that I noticed that one armscye was larger than the other, however it must have taken me 10 minutes to realise what I had done!!!!

The dress has princess seams, and I had attached the top of the side back piece about 4 inchs too high.  Sadly it wasn't just a case of unpicking a very narrow French seam by 4",  I had to more or less unpick the whole seam so that I could make sure that everything sat right.  Armed with my illuminated magnifying glass I spent approximately 1 hour unpicking the seam, ensuring that I didn't rip into the very fine tulle, and thankfully the sewing gods were being kind to me tonight, and I was able to unpick and resew the seam with no damage.

I inserted the sleeve, matching the thread tracing on the sleeves and the dress pieces and I am delighted that it went in like a dream.  After the first row of stitching, I trimmed the seam allowance back to a hair's breath of the stitching line before turning it right sides together to sew the 2nd row of stitching.  I now have a very narrow seam, which I am delighted with.

In case you want any instructions on how to sew a French Seam, Susan Khalje has written a short article in the threads magazine here so there is no point in my doing a tutorial when others have done a much better job than I could do.

I decided to quit while I was ahead and tomorrow I will sew up the 2nd sleeve, applique the deep border to the end of 2nd sleeve and then insert the sleeve into the armscye.

This will leave me the back seam, to sew, and then some more applique work to finish the overdress, leaving many small covered buttons to sew on, and a cummerbund to complete the look.

Its a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK and the weather gods have also been kind to us by brining us some beautiful weather.  My D Son has been building me a new decking that extends my lounge once the French Doors are open (a bit of a French theme going on in this post isn't there ha ha) and this morning I was painting posts, and garden furniture in a nice black ash.  Yep thats me multi-tasking as normal.  Oh and did I mention we were babysitting our granddaughter Alana last night, so I also had one eye on her running around the garden...........its all go here you know.

Hope you are all having a great weekend.  Catch you later.....................


  1. Bless your heart... SO proud you got the seam ripped out.. sleeve back in and ready to go again..
    You are definitely multi tasking.. Wow!!! you are an amazing lady.. Best wishes

  2. Oh my gosh. Well, I'm glad it all turned out okay. You're much more resilient than I am - I probably would have had to have some tears and a nap!

    Enjoy your bank holiday :-)

  3. I am happy that the sewing gods were kind to you when you had to unpick the lace. Good luck at getting your dress finished. Here's hoping you have some time to relax prior to the wedding.

  4. Oh glad you had the patience it took to correct your sewing. Been there!!!
    I've been enjoying reading all your wedding plans :-)

  5. My stomach rolled a bit when I read this. Good for you to quietly unpick it all. Your patience is a lesson for me right now.

  6. With you all the way Pauline... what ever you're doing.

  7. What a tedious job you had with the unpicking, but it's good to hear that you were able to do it successfully. What a nice reward for that sleeve to go in without a hitch. Hang in there!

  8. Oh, I feel for you! Hopefully everything will go smoothly from now on ")